STEVE Hooker’s competitive future is in limbo after the pole vault champion split from coach Alex Parnov with intentions to move to the US. The split was a mutual decision that both Parnov and Hooker agreed with.

Hooker recently married Russian partner Katya Kostetskaya in a Melbourne ceremony and the vaulter organised a meeting last month with Athletics Australia’s high performance manager Eric Hollingsworth and WA Institute of Sport coaching group manager Simon Jones to advise them of his intentions.

It is understood Hooker’s plans include a year’s sabbatical travelling between the US and the UK, allowing him to train alongside close friends Brad Walker and Steven Lewis, but is more tapered towards a reduced training load, allowing him to focus more time and attention on his personal life.Hollingsworth, Jones, Parnov and Hooker will meet in Perth again tomorrow to work out the finer details of the arrangement, including if – and how – the former Olympic champion is supported by the Australian bodies.

It is believed Hooker will largely base himself in Phoenix, Arizona, adding weight to a link with renowned US coach Dan Pfaff, who has spread his talents across both track and field, helping guide Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey to 100m Olympic gold in 1996 and, this year, Lewis to the UK’s best result of fifth in an Olympic pole vault final.

from: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/more-sport/steve-hooker-set-to-look-abroad-after-splitting-with-coach/story-e6frfglf-1226494980060

Steve Hooker
Steve Hooker

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